The New York Times reports that Israel may be willing to accept a temporary halt to settlement activity as part of a broader Mideast peace endeavor (1), as tension continues to build over the proposed freeze (7) (8). The Los Angeles Times features a backgrounder on Israeli settlements in the West Bank (3). The U.N. fact-finding commission begins its hearing on allegations of war crimes during the Gaza war (4). The International Red Cross issues a report saying that the 1.5 million residents of Gaza are "trapped in despair" in their current conditions, especially children (9). Israel approves construction of 50 new homes in an existing West Bank settlement to absorb the evacuees of the Migron outpost (13) (14) (17). Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak heads to Washington to meet with Mideast envoy George Mitchell in a bid to resolve the settlements dispute (15) (18).

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